One of Louisville Kentuckys largest employers is UPS United Parcel
Service. UPS, of course, is famous for its brown trucks and the ability to
deliver just about any package you want, anywhere on the globe you want. When
you put a UPS in your server room, the hope is that it will continue to deliver
power when the power company cant.
Recently, I got a call from a company Ive done consulting
for. Theyve been having intermittent power problems and the main breaker to
the building has been blowing out. Even though my grandfather started his own company
as an electrician over 50 years ago, the wiring wasnt what they called mefor. Instead it was the server that kept crashing.
When the company purchased its new server system, the vendor
was smart enough to recommend a UPS for the system. The customer told me the
server however would go right out when the power went out, even though the UPSwas less than a year old.
I suspected it just might not be plugged in properly. Often
people will plug equipment into the Surge Only line of a UPS and not use thebattery-backup side. Instead what I found was something completely different.
It turned out the vendor was smart enough to supply a UPS,
just a very tiny one. Supporting a Dell PowerEdge 1420, a flat panel display,
router, hub, and fiber optic hub was a puny APC 350. Not only that, there was
no connection between the UPS and the server. So, after about 3 minutes when
the battery was exhausted, rather than elegantly shutting the system down, theentire thing came to a crashing halt.
This is one of the things Ill never understand about some
consultants. Here the vendor had suggested and recommended a system that was
worth over $5000 at the time, and they protected it with a $40 UPS. And they didnt
even bother to hook it up properly when they did. What are some people thinkingsometimes?